Faith #ssp

I would hope that would never happen here. You’re a good egg kermit :+1: x

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i wasn’t raised to be religious at all and have only been to church once of my own volition (the other times i’ve been were for weddings, christenings etc or when i was a brownie and they made us go periodically). the one occasion was for midnight mass, as my then-boyfriend was going and i chose to go along.

at the time i was in a bad place and toying with the idea of becoming religious despite not actually believing in god. i’d started reading the bible, but didn’t get very far through it. i was hoping that i would have some kind of meaningful experience in the church, but i did not.

many religious people seem to get a lot comfort from their faith and a sense of community through attending their place of worship and i feel quite jealous of that, but unfortunately not believing in god(s) or anything like that is something of a barrier to me participating.

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Never enjoyed church except for Christingle, which was almost as much fun as Christmas itself. We wemt to family service until i was about 10, maybe, actually, i was probably younger when i stopped. Don’t think my Mum liked the church in Twyford when we moved there. My Dad was never into religion, so far as I’m aware.

I don’t know how long they put up with taking me to Sunday School. That might have stopped when they found how how autistic my brother is, so taking might just have added to their workload, although they might just have realised how little I enjoyed it, as I can’t remember enjoying it so much.

There was a lot of church in my Grand Parents’ generation. My Mum’s dad was a reverend in various churches in Devon. Actually, I’m pretty sure my uncle still is. My dad’s aunt and uncle were heavily invovled in the Catholic church. I think his aunt played the organ at one.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I’m agnostic, as while i make very little effort to follow any religions, I find it hard enough to be certain about what I’m saying let alone anything bigger.

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if they do, just quote Belle & Sebastian and Sufjan lyrics at them to explode their indie circuits

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Raised in a Roman Catholic household but lost faith pretty steadily as I got older. I’m sure I only believed properly when I was in primary school.

Of my family my Nan remains faithful but my parents and siblings don’t have any faith. Mam held on the longest but now doesn’t believe at all.

Was never an overly zealous atheist, just didn’t see why I had to go to these ceremonies or have them forced on us. I look forward to the eventual removal of the church from our schools though.

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Have also prayed within the last 10 years despite not believing in that sort of thing. Is that something people do?

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I voted Other (please state). I hereby state that I normally just call myself non-religious whenever it comes up.

Edit: Was raised protestant/lutheran tho, and my dad has since become a vicar but we all get along

Raised in a relatively moderate Christian household, my Dad was raised in a strict Baptist household which gave him some fairly warped views on the world which he struggles to reconcile massively now.

Basically stopped going to church when I was about 14 or so when I realised I just didn’t believe any of it and never really faced any kind of backlash to that.

I think the community side of church and religion can legitimately be a force for good but it too often isn’t.

fucking hell this is massive, sorry. religious ups and downs + my mum working at a church + intense christian mates.

Summary

my parents made me go to church 51 Sundays a year (Remembrance Sunday was the one I got let off on, my mum thought it glorified war). I had to wear a pinafore every week until I was 10. hated it, although now I don’t really own trousers and live in dresses so… guess it worked. church is Anglican and Methodist, not sure how that works or even what those two branches entail. it was never important.

I believed it as a little kid but having done 4+ years’ worth of Sunday School teaching cycles, I got extremely bored as a 9 year old and started asking questions about things that didn’t make sense to me, and got treated as disruptive, so lashed out and was properly disruptive because I was both bored shitless of crappy arts/crafts and very confused/angry that no-one would answer my questions. also my Sunday school teacher told me that if you don’t go to church on Sundays then you go to hell, my dad didn’t go to church and so I got really upset thinking he was going to hell.

my mum started working as a secretary at the church and when my dad went back to work, my brother and I had to spend all our school holidays at the church (until i was 14 :frowning: ). we would do some fun stuff like building fortresses out of Bibles and kneeling cushions in the actual church, play hide and seek around the 8 rooms of the church complex, steal shitloads of Freddos from the tuck shop box.

but a lot of the time it was very boring and we would fight and complain at our mum to go home. out of sheer boredom i read the youth club bible one summer, because it had real life examples of modern people getting into trouble and their faith helping them out. i was not reading it for the religious aspect, i was reading it for the titillation of reading about premarital sex and drugs and temptation :eyes:

when I went to the teen Sunday school, I was still very disruptive and angry, but youth worker Steve was really patient and kind and tried to answer my questions or admitted when he didn’t know the answer, which I really liked. so I did briefly start believing again, although partly because of a boy I fancied at youth club who was a Christian.

gradually I lost the belief and just felt like there was nothing up there. still did Alpha Course which was really interesting to me and I met some really nice people, it never felt like you HAD to convert. however, the church then turned my secular youth club into a religious club, starting with a Youth Alpha course. my (mostly non-religious) friends and I still turned up to it but it was absolutely awful, so manipulative and heavy-handed. ‘hilariously’ I used to say that I was God and the new youth workers would get so angry but it wasn’t really an argument they could win because it was so ludicrous. we used to hide in the toilets to socialise and the youth workers would basically come in and eavesdrop so we had no privacy. everyone stopped going. that did more than anything to kickstart my angry atheist phase :smiley:

despite not believing in a god I carried a lot of guilt when losing my virginity and it was a hideous experience as it was, but that bizarre religious guilt really messed me up in the head for a while. got over it eventually, and over the militant atheism. funnily enough that guy went from being a committed atheist to a borderline evangelist at uni… :grimacing:

i’m generally accepting of others’ faith but i struggle sometimes. my housemate/her bf are devout progressive Christians and while they do a lot of good stuff motivated by their faith, it can be a bit intense sometimes when they talk to me about their beliefs (they can be very condescending about a higher calling urging them to do good things). their relationship is absolutely ridiculous and so OTT with the faith elements.

my mum’s church were shysters and made her redundant last year in the most cack-handed insensitive way possible (and not entirely legal…) and she’s really hurt by the whole thing, it’s opened her eyes to it not being a church but a business. but despite not going to church it’s my dad who gets really aggy at any mention of my atheism, he always thinks i’ve taken it way too seriously and tried to blackmail me one time because i wouldn’t go to church on Christmas Day. really enjoy a good carol service though. O Come All Ye Faithful is an absolute tune. sorry this is so long

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Went to a CofE primary school and was raised going to Sunday school, church groups etc. I realised in my early teens that it wasn’t for me and not really what I believed. I’d class myself as agnostic, or atheist maybe I guess, I’m not sure. I’d never decry anyone who has faith or finds solace or comfort in religion, it’s just not for me. I see how faith is the basis for good deeds, charity etc and also how it’s misused and hidden behind for bad deeds. All the opulence of some branches of religion and accumulation of property and wealth has never sat well with me really. No idea what my point is really, just that whatever you believe in, or whoever you pray to, if at all, the most important thing is you’re not fundamentally a dick.

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The Christians got some fine songs. Big fan of How Great Thou Art :+1:

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yes, whenever Tonbridge have a penalty :eyes:

Christian and Catholic aren’t two separate religions. Catholicism is a denomination of Christianity (sorry to be picky).
I’m sure lots of catholics consider themselves more catholic than Christian (I do not).

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never forget the time at secondary school when we had to sing Lord You Put A Tongue Into My Mouth and everyone lost it. hymns were taken out of assemblies not long after that

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Raised Anglican but my faith sort of faded away as I got older. Never sure but was that strong tbh, I think mostly it was just for my parents and the sense of community it brings. My dad is very religious but I think mostly he is driven by the community and the people aspect rather than primarily by the faith.

I’m definitely agnostic though, don’t really feel that I can be atheist with any confidence at all so agnosticism makes the most sense to me.

My mate had All Things Bright and Beautiful at his wedding, and absolutely cracked up, in tears, at the purple headed mountain line.

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One thing I do share with my dad is a real dislike of the structures of the Church (Church of England, Catholic Church etc). Not for me, Clive.

I went to Sunday School but I think that was probably just a way to get us out of the house so my parents could have a break. Mum likes going to church for Christingle and Christmas Mass but that seems about it really.

When I stayed at my nans house we used to pray together before bed. I can’t remember if I believed then but I think I kind of accepted God as real without any strong belief or faith. My nan used to visit every church in the village. I imagine if we’d had a mosque or a synagogue she’d hage visited them too and made friends. Nan used to say “God is Love”. I hope we get to meet again but I can’t truly BELIEVE that we will.
It seems to me that most of what faith you have depends a huge amount on where in the world you were born, what your parent’s believed in and how much they and your school/community around you instilled a sense of belief/worship in you. Although obviously I know it’s also a deeply personal thing.

We had this bloke at school from the YMCA who used to come in and chat to us and because I was always up for a chat and a debate I joined his little weekly lunchtime discussion group. One thing I really struggled with was the idea above (circumstance/chance having such a huge impact on your faith) that if you followed the wrong religon you’d be punished for it. Also how can you MAKE yourself believe something?
I asked the nice bloke what if you follow the wrong religion and he said some thing along the lines of ‘you have to accept Jesus as your lord and saviour or you will go to hell’ and that just really put me off because what kind of God rejects you for something you can’t really help?

I really miss my nan :cry:

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I’ve got a lovely, poignant memory of this hymn:

CW: death

We had this hymn at my stepmum’s funeral: at the graveside after the coffin was lowered. I remember some lovely old lady from the church starting it, and my eldest, clinging to my dad’s leg, singing every word, somehow in perfect pitch. And over the other side of the graveyard, the children from the local school were playing on their breaktime, and the sun was glistening on the fallen leaves. It was one of those weird moments where, in spite of the tragedy of the situation, you could feel a sense of hope.

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Sorry I should have read the thread- this point is covered already! :laughing:

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